Friday, April 23, 2010

Travels: Southern Laos

We decided to spend our first day in the Si Phan Don (4000 Island) area of southern Laos on Don Khong, the "city" island. Lonely Planet introduced it as being laid back. That is the understatement of the year.
The island was almost too quiet. The only activity was sitting at a restaurant and enjoying the gorgeous view. We decided that we were looking for a bit more adventure so decided to rent a motor bike for the day. Luckily George had a bike in Korea, so I trusted him on the near empty roads of Don Khong!
We drove around for a few hours, enjoying the views of palm trees, fields, small villages, cows and water buffalos.
Unfortunately I suffered yet another accident, and badly burnt the inside of my calf on the boiling hot exhaust pipe when getting off the bike at one of our spots. It's still healing - almost 2 weeks later!
Upon trying to find internet we ended up at an internet cafe - which turned out to be in a family's living room.

Finding things a little too relaxed, we took a boat the next day to the more lively islands of Don Det and Don Khon which are further south.
We stayed for 3 nights on Don Det and really enjoyed our time there.
Although it was also quite low-key, there were great biking trails criss-crossing both islands, many restaurants and convenience stores, and even a few internet cafes that weren't in anyone's living room. Overall, just more convenient for tourists.

In our time there we rode bikes around the islands, stopping at a waterfall, and swimming with some locals, sampled some good food, sat on hammocks drinking Beer Laos and floated around the islands on inner tubes.
I also spent some time nursing my 2nd degree burn from the stupid motorbike. By day 2 the whole area turned black and I had some nasty scabbing, bistering and peeling. Attempts to put gauze over top to protect from the dusty streets and bike chain just made things worse!

We finally decided to tear ourselves away from Southern Laos in order to go to Cambodia, but it wasn't easy.

Our 2 weeks in Laos were amazing, much in part to the warm and friendly people there. I would reccommend it to anyone, and I would love to go back someday!

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